For fuck’s sake.
Warning: the following article contains depressing descriptions of humans being ruthless bastards.
At the Harlan facility in Huntingdon, Cambridge, beagles are bred for use in labs – essentially they are breeding the dogs to die.
The dogs are used in experiments, and are then killed at the end. Harlan is currently the only major farm in the UK that breeds the dogs for medical testing, The Sun reports.
But the government have just approved a new beagle-breeding facility in Grimston – an incredibly fitting town name – which will house 200 dogs and 180 puppies, as well as ferrets, that are to be used in similar experiments. A petition to stop the new farm has gained more than 530,000 signatures.
At Harlan only the breeding dogs are given names, the rest are identified by a clinical number tattooed on their ear. The farm is home to about 1,800 dogs, including 320 females and 35 males specifically for breeding.
They are trained to show their necks so blood can be taken from their jugular, beagles are used because they are so small and docile.
When puppies reach 16 weeks old they are sold to universities and pharmaceutical companies for up to £1,600 per animal. They are then used for a range of different experiments.
The law currently states that all new drugs must be tested on two animals before being allowed on the market, one rodent and one non-rodent. But animal rights campaigners believe that testing on animals is unnecessary, especially with advances in technology that mean using computers or human cells taken from a body would work just as well.
Nick Palmer, from Cruelty Free International, said:
The dogs are injected or force fed chemicals then they are studied to see what effects they have — organ damage, internal breeding and paralysis. Afterwards they are killed and the organs are studied further. It’s cruel. The injection and force feeding is a painful process and is done with the view of seeing if it will produce horrible effects.
Andrew Gay, Harlan’s communications director disagrees, though. He says the beagles’ role is vital in developing new drugs for serious human illnesses.
He told The Sun:
Can medical research in the UK justify the use of animals? Yes, it can. Some people don’t like that but there aren’t currently any alternatives. I wish there were, in truth.
I don’t think anyone would say, ‘The one thing I want to do this morning is experiment on a dog’.
But these dogs are used to save lives, give people a better quality of life and save the environment.
He also insists that the animals at Harlan are well looked after, saying: “These are working dogs. It’s an honourable thing for a dog to do and for us to ask a dog to do.”
Right then, you absolute ‘honourable’ bastard.